Robert MCMillan of Wired wrote an article on the upcoming Bitcoin debit card from Xapo. The article points out that there are some other prepaid Bitcoin cards out there, the author noted they feel rather “fly by night”. Xapo has actually raised $20 million in VC and is looking to comply with U.S. law.
From the article:
Bitcoin may be the future of digital money, but it has a big problem here in the United States: why use it to buy anything when millions of merchants already accept debit and credit cards?
Today, if you want to buy a bottle of lemonade with bitcoins, you need to scan a QR code with your phone or email a long bitcoin address to the seller. For most people, buying with bitcoins just isn’t as easy as Visa or MasterCard.
Here’s how it works. Xapo, a bitcoin wallet provider, is in the process of becoming a debit card issuer on one of the major credit card networks. That means that, like your bank, Xapo, can issue you a debit card number and expiration date. You get the card number for free. If you want them to send you some plastic so you can gas up or buy beer at a corner store with your bitcoins, then they’ll charge you $15.
Xapo complies with U.S. law by requiring its customers to provide proof of residency and identification before they can open an account. Casares says that his company isn’t sure yet which payment network the Xapo card will use, but the company is testing MasterCard, Visa and Discover. “I think it’s most likely MasterCard, but there’s still a chance that it will be another,” he says.
Read the whole article here